(CelebrityAccess News Service) — Mike Kelly, CFE, of NCC Ltd. in New Zealand, will be inaugurated as the new president of the International Association of Assembly Managers (IAAM) on July 29 during its 78th Annual Conference & Trade Show at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Kelly will become the first IAAM president elected from outside North America; he has served as vice president the past two years.
Kelly, a Canadian ex-patriot, has been a member of IAAM since 1981. He served as District IV vice president for the US and Canadian northwest from 1993-1996, and completed industry certification in 1992. Kelly was subsequently awarded his certified facility executive (CFE) credential, marking his knowledge of the industry, and was later honored to serve on the certification board, completing five years of service in 1999.
Kelly's current responsibilities with NCC (a private venue management company managing three venues in Christchurch, New Zealand) include the overall management of the consultation and contract management affairs of the company and the direct management of Christchurch Town Hall, a performing arts centre with 2,600 and 1,008 seat theaters; Christchurch Convention Centre; and the WestpacTrust Centre, a 9,000 seat arena. He previously managed a number of public assembly complexes in Canada .
Kelly has initiated several organizational changes to help achieve better outcomes. They include the 'downsizing' of bureaucracy by the formation of several presidential councils that combine "like-minded" committees under a cabinet system of leaders.
The IAAM boasts more than 3,500 professional venue managers as members in 33 countries representing over 1,200 facilities. –edited by Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner
SXSW Selects New Host Hotel
(CelebrityAccess News Service) — South by Southwest 2004 will have a new host hotel next year as conference executives have selected the new Hilton Austin Convention Center.
Scheduled to open January 2004, the property is directly across Fourth Street from SXSW daytime activities at the Austin Convention Center and one block from Sixth Street nightclubs. The Hilton will be the most convenient accommodations available. All rooms will offer high speed Internet access, over-sized work desks, dual-line phones, mini-bars, and a mass of other features. The 16,000 square foot Fitness Complex will feature a 48-foot lap pool, sauna, steam room, and state-of-the-art fitness equipment. There will be four restaurants and bars onsite. –edited by Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner
Jennifer Gates Appointed Assistant General Counsel for CCE
Gates began her career in the entertainment industry with PACE Entertainment as a law clerk and artists contracts administrator in June 1997, a few months prior to PACE's acquisition by SFX. In 1999, she received her graduate degree from the University of Houston School of Law. During this time, Gates became full-time staff with SFX as associate counsel. After briefly moving to Minneapolis in 2000 and working out of the Target Center, she returned to the Houston-based Legal Group in 2001.
Throughout her career with PACE/SFX/Clear Channel Entertainment, Gates has assisted in various areas of entertainment including artist/venue issues, facilities and operations management, litigation, vendor/subcontractor agreements, and sponsorship & marketing.
"Under Jennifer's management, the music legal group has functioned with outstanding productivity and efficiency," said Clear Channel Entertainment general counsel, Dale Head. "Jennifer has done a superb job at performing the new and increased responsibilities as the manager of the music division Houston-based Legal Group. "–edited by Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen
Committee Votes to Block FCC Media Rule
WASHINGTON (AP) — A House committee voted Wednesday to block federal regulators from letting companies purchase larger numbers of television stations, ignoring a Bush administration veto threat and handing a setback to the commercial television networks.
By a bipartisan 40-25 vote, the House Appropriations Committee voted to derail a new Federal Communications Commission rule that would let a single company own TV stations reaching 45 percent of American households. That new rule replaced a 35 percent limit, which has been favored by smaller broadcasters and an amalgam of groups ranging from the National Rifle Association to consumer advocates.
The Appropriations Committee's approval of the provision, which was attached to a must-pass spending bill for the Commerce, Justice and State departments, breathed new life into an effort by congressional opponents to undo the June 2 FCC decision. Separate House and Senate bills to thwart the new FCC have bogged down, having run into opposition from pivotal committee chairmen.
Even so, with the White House threatening a veto, House Republican leaders backing the administration and continued opposition from the major commercial broadcast networks, the prospects for the provision approved on Wednesday were unclear.
Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., sponsor of the amendment, cast it as an attempt to keep national corporations from dictating what will be aired on local television stations. He and others complained about prime-time broadcasts of Victoria Secrets models and other programming they said was unsuitable for young children.
"I don't want ownership factors to get in the way of districts like mine from being able to preserve their own cultural attitudes," Obey said.
Supporters of the new FCC rules said they reflected the growing competition that large network broadcasters face from cable and satellite television and the Internet. Blocking those rules won't change the programming, they said.
"It doesn't matter whether they're owned by a guy in that town or a conglomerate," said Rep. Henry Bonilla, R-Texas.
Obey's amendment did not affect other parts of the FCC decision that ended many of the prohibitions against a single company owning newspapers and broadcast stations in the same community.
Prior to approving the amendment, the committee by voice vote killed an effort to broaden it by also blocking the part of the FCC ruling having to do with joint newspaper-broadcast ownership.
The sponsor of that amendment, Rep. Anne Northup, R-Ky., said she wanted to contain the expansion of all media organizations, not just television networks. But Obey said her proposal, if approved, would have spelled the defeat of the entire amendment by increasing the number of groups — and lawmakers — opposed to it.
NAB Quits Fight on TV Ownership Rules
WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Association of Broadcasters said Thursday it is withdrawing support for legislation that seeks to restore restrictions on how many television stations a company can own.
The influential industry group had lobbied hard to undo a Federal Communications Commission decision that raised a national ownership limit so a company can own TV stations reaching 45 percent of U.S. households instead of 35 percent.
Last month, the Senate Commerce Committee voted for a bill that would overturn that change. The original bill only dealt with the ownership cap, but lawmakers added a variety of amendments.
"We were pushing legislation until such time as it got out of control and became negative for the industry," NAB President Edward Fritts told reporters. "It's pretty much the kitchen sink that was thrown in."
Fritts said the association objects to amendments that would reinstate a ban on the joint ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations in the same city and expand radio ownership restrictions in ways that could force companies to sell stations.
The NAB would prefer a clean bill on the ownership cap, but since that is "politically and legislatively infeasible" the association is withdrawing support for all legislation with that goal, Fritts said.
While the Senate bill was passed by a bipartisan majority on the committee, it faces strong resistance in the House. Without NAB support, the future of the bill and other similar proposals becomes even more uncertain.
The Republican-controlled FCC eased decades-old restrictions on ownership of newspapers and television and radio stations with a 3-2 party-line vote on June 2.
Critics say the new rules will lead to mergers that could ultimately put a few giant companies in control of what most people see, hear and read.
Many media companies said the changes were needed because the old restrictions hindered their ability to grow and compete in a market changed by cable TV, satellite broadcasts and the Internet.
The changes to the national ownership cap divided the broadcasting industry.
The major networks wanted the cap eliminated, while the smaller broadcasters that the NAB represents said a higher cap would allow the networks to gobble up stations and take away local control of programming.
News Corp., owner of Fox, and Viacom Inc., which owns CBS and UPN, benefit from the higher cap because mergers have pushed the media giants above the 35 percent level.
Even without new legislation, legal challenges to the rules are expected from consumer groups seeking stiffer restrictions and media companies wanting even more deregulation.
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